CJ Parker Explains Why He Decided To Leave WWE NXT, Discusses WWE’s Developmental System, NJPW


Former WWE NXT Superstar CJ Parker (Juice Robinson) recently appeared on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

Parker on wanting to work in New Japan Pro Wrestling forever: “Since I started with New Japan, I’ve always just felt like it’s how it should be in wrestling. Like, you’re working hard, you’re doing better, you are, and they’re seeing it and you’re moving up slowly, not fast. It’s about slow. It’s not like, ‘okay, here he is.’ ‘Alright, put him on TV! Oh, he didn’t get over in two weeks? No? Now, you’re a jobber.’ ‘No way!’ They get it there. it’s just a slow burn, a slow climb. It’s the best wrestling in the world. I love it.” Robinson added, “I want to work there forever. It’s funny, sometimes, my friends will be like, ‘when are you coming back and I’m always like, ‘I don’t know how to answer that because if I’m just going to answer you, I’m not, but you never know.’”

Parker on WWE’s developmental system: “It was great. Two years with Dr. Tom Prichard. I felt good. I was working more than I ever have. I was learning. It was a great place for the first few years. It was a lot of fun and I was getting better and I was learning how to work. I was learning how to work there. The first few years, no, I’m like, ‘this is going good!’ I’m 22, 23 [years old]. I’m learning how to work. I’m wrestling all these guys. Colby [Lopez] was down there, Ambrose. Sorry, Seth, Ambrose, a lot of the guys were there. Cesaro was eventually there. The boys were awesome. It was really good. Everything was going the right way, and then, we were doing TVs in this itty-bitty thing in FCW with one camera and it was nothing and it was easy. And I felt like I was getting better. And then, eventually, Dr. Tom out, new guy in. And then, it kind of totally all changed.”

Parker on why some of the talent that entered WWE’s developmental system leapfrogged him: “Eventually, that guy became what he was, a guy just to come out and put over people and I felt like, ‘oh man.’ And all these guys were coming in, right? Sami Zayn came in. Kevin Owens came in. Prince Devitt came in. All these guys, Pac. And they instantly went above me, which they should’ve, 100%, but they had things that I was never going to learn in the PC. Like, they had outside experience. They were great wrestlers for 10 years on the outside.”

Parker on why he decided to leave NXT: “I knew I was done right before whatever the WrestleMania was in San Francisco [California] San Jose [California]. I knew, ‘okay, I’ve got to go now’. I figured I’d hang around and get fired. They did the first NXT special and, in, like, a big arena and I wasn’t on it and I took it personally because I was on all the f–king TVs putting people over. You’d think I’d come out. It’d be fine if I came out and put somebody over, but I wasn’t on it and I was so angry and I made up my mind right there, ‘yup, I’m done. I’m out. I’m going to figure it out.’ Then I told, I pulled [Giant] Bernard, Baldo, aside and I told him that.”

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